Ono no Komachi


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Ono no Komachi

(ō`nō nō kō`mä`chē), fl. c.833–857, Japanese poet. She was celebrated for her beauty and erotically charged poetry. Ranked among the most prominent poets of her day, Ono no Komachi displayed a rare skill in weaving multiple entendres, metaphors, and emotional intensity into the elegant waka verse form. To judge from her poetry, she corresponded with a number of leading contemporary poets, several of whom may have been her lovers. Little is known about her actual life or circumstances; numerous legends have sprung up about her beauty, amorous activities, and bitter end as a wandering hag.
References in periodicals archive ?
Poetry, drama, and transformation all infuse Mary-Jean Cowell's original version of the legend of the woman poet Ono no Komachi.
It is Ono no Komachi, a legendary figure in Japanese culture, supposed to have been not only the most accomplished poet but also the most beautiful woman of her time, the mid-ninth century.
Hirshfield has also translated Ono No Komachi and Izumi Shikibu--collected in The Ink-Dark Moon (1986)--and her Japanese references are always those of a careful and respectful translator.